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Sep 24, 2012 24 min read

September 25, 2012 - This week's tablehopper: Calgon, take me away.

September 25, 2012 - This week's tablehopper: Calgon, take me away.
Table of Contents

This week's tablehopper: Calgon, take me away.                    

Katsu and tofu buns at Izakaya Yuzuki. Photo: ©

Hello there, amigos. I have to admit, I am in quite a snit—after calling off my weekend’s plans to stay home and fight this lame cold that didn’t seem to want to go away, ever (I think it’s finally gone, what an SOB), I have had a really rotten headache for the past 48 hours. Nothing is working (lots of water, coconut water, rest, Excedrin, Motrin, a bath, a cool washcloth on my neck, the blinds are down, and I even had someone recommend beer). Tonight I have a craniosacral session with a massage at the Kabuki Springs & Spa lined up, thank God. Anyway, if I don’t sound especially perky in today’s column, it’s because I am the opposite of perky. It hurts to laugh. (And don’t get me started on the neighbor’s construction.)

Fortunately I was not suffering from this headache when I was at my dear friend’s wedding on Sunday afternoon (we have been friends since seventh grade!), and then I swung by Izakaya Yuzuki to check out their new Sunday dinner pork katsu and tofu buns (more on these soon!), followed by some filming Sunday night for a new show on the Travel Channel that’s coming this December called Feed the Beast, with host Mikey Roe—we had a lot of fun talking burritos and the late-night dining scene in SF. Yeah, you could say I know a thing or two about late-night eats.

Today I have an exciting peek at Ceri Smith’s fabulous new upcoming wine bar to share, et al., along with pics and the menu for MAU, opening on Valencia this week. There is also a great ticket giveaway in the sugar mama—hop to it.

You hungry for more? Take a look at my piece on Craftsman & Wolves for 7x7 magazine, and today on You Gotta Eat This on KGO Radio, I talk about what to order at Troya on Fillmore.

Oh, and this Friday, the latest episode of Hungry In… (the weekly show on YouTube’s Hungry channel that I am a part of) will be posting! Did you see the one last Friday with Citysearch scout Josh Ozersky talking burgers in New York? Helllllo, burgers.

Okay, wish me luck with Operation: Slay Headache. I’m not being very productive. Or perky. Pffft.

Marcia Gagliardi

the chatterbox

Gossip & News (the word on the street)

MAU to Open (Softly) on Valencia Wednesday


The interior dining room . Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©


A view of the kitchen. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©


Mau’s bar seating. Photo: Dana Eastland. ©


The bar set with some of the housemade sauces and pickled garlic. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©

As previously mentioned on tablehopper, Sante Salvoni is back at the ovens and about to open a new restaurant on Valencia. His partners in the venture are Hung Dang (Tin Vietnamese in SoMa) and husband-wife team Annie Abbott and Luke Wendler.

The new spot is called MAU and will be all about Southeast Asian dishes, especially street food. Despite some false internet rumors, the spot has not opened yet, but Salvoni is hoping to have the place up and running, at least softly, by Wednesday (yep, that’s tomorrow!).

They did a trial service last night, and we got a chance to peek at some of the dishes that they’ll likely be opening with. Look for lettuce-wrapped housemade pork sausage with pickled vegetables and mint; minced pork noodle soup in gai lan spicy tomato broth; a lemongrass tofu rice bowl; grilled pork shoulder rice bowl with pickled vegetables; and mustard green-wrapped halibut with housemade shrimp paste, crispy rice, and tomato dashi. Most of the dishes will be sized for individual consumption, as opposed to family style, and will be less than $15. There will also be some larger entreés for sharing, like a whole fish, which will hover around $25.

They’ll be open for lunch for now from 11:30am-2:30pm Mon-Sat, and for dinner Mon-Thu 5:30pm-10pm and Fri-Sat 5:30pm-11pm. They are closed on Sundays. Eventually, they plan to be open from lunch straight through dinner, but for now they need that break to make sure everything’s running smoothly.

MAU            - 665 Valencia St. San Francisco - 415-934-8889

Company Now Open in Former Tao Café Space in the Mission


The upstairs mezzanine. Photo by Scott Saraceno.


The tables and banquette. Photo by Scott Saraceno.

About a month ago, tablehopper broke the news about the name of the new restaurant opening in the former Tao Café space at Guerrero and 22nd Street: COMPANY. Or as I like to remember it, the old Flying Saucer space. Anyway, chef-partners Karen Hoffman and Jason Poindexter (previously of Four Seasons) are partnering with Thuy Nguyen, the former owner of Tao, and are serving a menu of Cal-Mediterranean and Northern California cuisine in a relaxed setting.

The menu was designed to be flexible for a quick bite or full meal, and includes appetizers from $6-$10 and entrées from $14-$16. Some starters may include housemade ricotta cheese with roasted figs, balsamic reduction, and levain toasts; grilled Monterey squid with crushed Butterball potatoes, pancetta, and salsa verde; and pickled watermelon salad. There is also pappardelle with oxtail sugo and braised beet greens; two kinds of flatbreads; and mains like slow-roasted pork shoulder, crispy okra, corn succotash, and housemade pancetta; roasted chicken panzanella salad; and sockeye salmon with fresh shelling beans, braised romaine, confit fennel, Castelvetrano tapenade, and herb salad. Oh yes, and there’s a burger too.

The restaurant softly opened for dinner last Friday, and will start lunch service Tuesday October 2nd. The space is a bit retro-meets-industrial look, with vibrant colors on the walls and vintage light fixtures. There’s a bar with room for eight, plus a lounge upstairs (available for private events).

There are also some creative soju-based cocktails on the menu, by Russell Morton, who is making soju-based gin, amaretto, and barrel-aged fortified wine cocktails (they are mixed in-house and then aged in oak barrels). There are also wines on tap, along with craft beers on tap and by the bottle (all local and small production). Open for lunch Tue-Sun 11am-2:30pm, bar and dinner Sun and Tue-Thu 5:30pm-10pm, and Fri-Sat until 11pm.

Company            - 1000 Guerrero St. San Francisco - 415-374-7479

Lauren Kiino Launching Two SoMa Projects


Lauren Kiino (left) at Il Cane Rosso; photo from Facebook.

Over the weekend I got a note from Lauren Kiino of IL CANE ROSSO in the Ferry Building Marketplace about not just one but two new SoMa projects she is working on: RED DOG and FEARLESS (you may have seen the story in the Scoop here). The bigger project is Red Dog, which will be opening in half of the former Maya space on 2nd Street (who is moving into the other half is TBD). The 75-seat restaurant will be a casual spot to swing by for lunch or after work, serving rustic cuisine that’s a bit American or British or Italian or French (not unlike what you’d find at Il Cane Rosso, which means “red dog”). Dishes may include a vegetarian pasta carbonara made with kale, mushrooms, and salt-cured egg yolk; chicken-fried pork chop; wild nettle and mushroom-potato hash. And I’m also happy to hear that Il Cane Rosso’s awesome Scotch egg will be on the menu. Kiino says they’ll be serving “real entrées, like grandma-meets-farmhouse cooking”; she will be working closely with Emily Martin, her sous chef at Il Cane Rosso. There is also a bar (with 25 seats) and there will be a full liquor license. Timing is late spring or early summer 2013. 303 2nd St. at Harrison.

The second project, FEARLESS, is going to be a café opening in a nearby space that previously was a Tully’s, serving quality coffee from a local roaster, breakfast sandwiches, and other breakfasty items, and grab-and-go sandwiches and salads for lunch, plus some hot items. Fearless has the same timing as Red Dog.

Chef Departures (Bar Bambino, Pig & Pie, Tupelo) and Closures


The Pig & Pie interior. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©


Bar Bambino interior (photo from website).

The rumors are true: BAR BAMBINO’s chef Lizzie Binder will be on the upcoming Top Chef: Seattle, according to Grub Street, and contrary to earlier reports, she will not be returning to the restaurant. The new season of Top Chef airs November 7th. 2931 16th St. at South Van Ness.

Over in the Mission, Eater reports chef Nate Overstreet has left PIG & PIE, along with his lady, the pie maker, Ashly Amador (sound like the makings of a good novella). Owner Miles Pickering is currently on the hunt for replacements. 2962 24th St. at Alabama.

TUPELO in North Beach has a chef turnover: chef Mark Danzinger has moved on (Eater mentions he’s going to be opening his own restaurant), and his replacement is Michael Hadj, who is keeping the Southern comfort food style but making some updates (he’s adding chicken and waffles with bacon jam and Southern pulled pork pie). Tupelo also landed its entertainment permit, so look for some live music. 1337 Grant Ave. at Green.

In the not-shocking department, BIA’S RESTAURANT AND WINE BAR in the Upper Haight has closed, according to Upper Casing. The space is reportedly going to be renovated and then put on the market. 1640 Haight St. at Clayton.

Coming Soon to 331 Cortland: Eji's Ethiopian


Eji’s red lentils and injera. Photo from Facebook.

The fine folks at 331 CORTLAND MARKETPLACE have some great news: the newest vendor to join the market place is Eji Atlaw of Eji’s Ethiopian. She is taking a big step forward in her business after beginning at La Cocina and is replacing Claire Hoyt’s Big Dipper Baby Food, who left in early September to focus her business on online sales. Atlaw will be serving her wonderful Ethiopian plates, with some side options. Her signature dish, misir wot, is a plate of spicy red lentils, with injera and sautéed greens. She was serving it at the SF Street Food Festival, and it was awesome. There will also be split yellow peas, her injera rolls in both slightly spicy and mild, and you’ll have the option of getting sautéed greens or turmeric cabbage with your plate.

She’ll be offering prepared sauces and meals to take home, too, as well as a thyme herbal tea available either hot or cold. There’s no exact opening date yet, but she’s looking at mid-October. She doesn’t have a phone number quite yet, but in the meantime you can check out her Good Eggs page and start getting hungry.

331 Cortland Marketplace            - 331 Cortland Ave. San Francisco

Changes at Broken Record: Chefs Coming to Lower Haight


Crawfish grits. Yelp photo by Tiffany U.

My editorial assistant heard word that the chefs at BROKEN RECORD were off to do their own thing, which was confirmed by this Craigslist ad I spotted yesterday. But before we could get a call back, the Scoop announced chefs James Moisey and Shane LaValley are in fact leaving Geneva Avenue in a month or so, and will be opening their own place in the Lower Haight, in the former Rotee space. They are hilariously calling the space rickybobby—yes, it’s a reference to Talladega Nights. Look for the same menu (bacon burger, crawfish grits) and 45 seats. A beer and wine license is under way; late fall is the plan. 400 Haight St. at Webster.

Broken Record            - 1166 Geneva Ave. San Francisco - 415-963-1713

Now Open: Eddie Rickenbacker's, Goat Hill Pizza in West Portal

LiveSoMa reports EDDIE RICKENBACKER’S has reopened, sans motorcycles. Click through to view a menu. 133 2nd Street at Mission, 415-800-6659.

Inside Scoop reports GOAT HILL PIZZA has opened their third location, in West Portal. Open daily 11am-10pm, and delivery is available. 170 West Portal at 14th Ave., 415-242-4628.

Lotsa Cool Markets and Street Parties Coming Up Soon


One of the food options from Picnic in the Street: the pulled pork sandwich from the Pasta Shop. Photo from Facebook.

If you’re in the market for some local artisanal products from unique purveyors, look no further than the Meet Market at BLUXOME STREET WINERY. Oh, and did we mention you can sip on wine while doing your shopping? Yeah, not so bad. Check out the rillettes and other meaty goodies from Wooden Spoons, or the pickled vegetables from Paulie’s Pickling, or perhaps some cheese from Orland Creamery Farmstead is more your speed. Regardless, they’ll all be on offer the last Saturday of every month from 12pm-5pm, which means this month’s will be Saturday September 29th. 53 Bluxome St. at 4th St.

Don’t forget the PARTY ON BLOCK 18 is also happening on Saturday September 29th, from 12pm-6pm. The blocks of 18th Street between Dolores and Guerrero will be closed, and local shops and restaurants will be serving some of their finest foods for your munching pleasure. The event is free, and books of food and drink tickets can be purchased here. Proceeds will benefit Buen Dia Family School, 826 Valencia, 18 Reasons, Nextcourse, Holy Family Day Home, and The Women’s Building. If yo

Over in Oakland, catch the fall celebration PICNIC IN THE STREET on Sunday October 7th, to coincide with the Rockridge Out and About festival. Merchants from the Rockridge Market Hall will be out in full force, offering food, tastings, and demonstrations. There will also be a bunch of fall-flavored activities for kids, like a pumpkin painting booth and goat petting zoo. Paul Marcus Wines will be on hand, pouring sparkling, rosé, and red wines, so there’s plenty of fun for adults too. For a full list of participating merchants, check out the list here. Attendance is free, with food and beverages available for purchase. The event will take place from 12pm-6pm, at and around the Rockridge Market Hall, at 5655 College Ave. at Keith, Oakland.

Say Prost to Oktoberfest with These Special Events and Deals


The five-sausage sampler at Schmidt’s.


The sampler plate at Jasper’s.

October is upon us already, which means it’s time to toast fall German style. Check out these Oktoberfest deals around town, and get your beer on!

Over at SCHMIDT’S in the Mission, you’ll find a bunch of special eating and drinking options from October 1st-31st. They’ll be serving five special Märzen beers over the course of the month, or you can check out an Oktoberfest beer flight with three different beers plus a pretzel roll and a side of German mustard for $14. In addition to their regular menu options, there will be sausage sampler plates to go along with your beers. For $18, check out the plate with three sausages, or for $24, you’ll get five different sausages. Both plates include potato salad, sauerkraut, and mustard. They’re open for dinner Sun-Mon 5pm-10pm and Tue-Sat 5pm-11pm. Happy hour is 5pm-7pm every day and brunch is 11am-3pm Sat-Sun. 2500 Folsom St. at 20th St., 415-401-0200.

If a party is more your style, the PRESIDIO SOCIAL CLUB has you covered. On Sunday September 30th, they’ll be throwing a Bavarian-style fest of their own on their hopefully sunny back deck (stay away, Karl the fog!)), with sausage samplers and German beers. Sausage plates with three links and a pint of beer will be available for $10 during the party, which will be from 11am-7pm. You’ll also find sausage plates in addition to the regular menu during the month of October. The party will be the kickoff for this month’s Sunday Supper series, which will feature a whole roasted pig with braised red cabbage and German-style potatoes, plus apple strudel to finish. The suppers will start at 5pm every Sunday in October and cost $35 per person.

For more sausage and beer offerings, you can hit up JASPER’S CORNER TAP for a special Oktoberfest sampler plate with spicy beer sausage, whiskey fennel sausage, two mustards, and a pretzel with smoked cheese fondue. The plate comes paired with Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen beer for $19, or you can get the plate solo for $14 or the beer solo for $7. The sampler plate will be available from now until the end of October, during lunch and dinner. Lunch is every day from 11am-5pm, and dinner is Sun-Wed 5pm-10pm and Thu-Sat 5pm-11pm.

Jasper's Corner Tap            - 401 Taylor St. San Francisco - 415-775-7979

Oakland News: James Syhabout Into Somerset Space, and More


A drink on the patio at the former Somerset. Yelp photo by Joshua E.

Some cool haps in Oakland: according to Scoop, James Syhabout (Commis, Hawker Fare) is going to be taking over Somerset on College Avenue: “He’s still ironing out the details in terms of the exact concept, but says it will be casual, with a full bar—‘something fun.’ ” He’s partnering with Alan Carlson of Italian Colors in Montclair, and the chef is Benjamin Coe (he’s been at Commis for two years as chef de partie and was also opening sous at Morimoto Napa). There will be 70 seats, plus 30 on the outdoor patio; look for an opening in 2013. 5912 College Ave. at Chabot, Oakland.

Meanwhile, according to permits, Somerset owner Gary Rizzo will be opening a project called DESTINO in the former La Taza de Cafe/Taste of Joy BBQ space. Stand by for more. 3909 Grand Ave. at Sunnyslope, Oakland.

Diablo Mag notes Chris Pastena (Chop Bar) has a new project in Oakland’s Tribune Tower, TRIBUNE TAVERN. Eater shares the 150-seat restaurant and bar will feature American food with local ingredients, housemade items (cheese, bread), and local beers (with some exclusive brews by Linden Street Brewery) and California wines. Romanowski (who recently redid the Lower Haight’s Nectar) is contributing to the design. Mid-March 2013 is the current opening plan. 409 13th St. at Franklin, Oakland.

Looks like there’s a new sports bar called HALFTIME SPORTS BAR, with a couple Yelpers excited about the flat-screen TVs, booze, and Kobe beef meatball sub. The spot is owned by James Dailey, and according to his daughter, Jasmine Dailey, they’ve got a pretty classic sports bar menu going on, with a chicken Parmesan sandwich, buffalo wings, and crispy fries. Everything is freshly made in-house (they don’t even have a freezer), and there are a total of 14 TVs, so you can catch pretty much any sporting event you might be interested in. There’s also a room upstairs for fight nights or large groups. Hours are Mon-Thu 11am-12am, Fri 11am-1am, Sat 10am-1am, and Sun 10am-12am. The kitchen generally stays open until 10pm or so, depending on how busy they are. 316 14th St. at Webster, Oakland, 510-836-4400.

Lastly, next Sunday October 7th, NICK’S PIZZA is hosting their second seasonal community meal, offering free pizza, salad, and beverages from 5pm-7pm (for the last one, chef-owner Nick Yapor-Cox made almost 40 pizzas). More details here. 6211 Shattuck Ave. at 62nd St., Oakland, 510-658-3903.


the sponsor

This Round Is On Me... (hey, thanks!)

(Sponsored): CUESA's Tenth Annual Sunday Supper Is October 14th

Sunday Supper is an elegant celebration of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market community and California’s rich agricultural bounty. On Sunday October 14th, thirty of San Francisco’s best chefs join winemakers, bartenders, and sustainable farmers in the historic Ferry Building for one memorable and decadent evening in support of CUESA’s Schoolyard to Market program. Here are just some of the talented chefs who will be participating: Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats, William Werner of Craftsman and Wolves, Craig Stoll of Delfina, Melissa Perello of Frances, and Yigit Pura of the freshly opened Tout Sweet Pâtisserie.

This year the event will commence at 6pm with a Champagne reception featuring an oyster bar, hors d’oeuvres, Napa Valley wine, and artisan cocktails. Guests will witness the action in the kitchen with a special behind-the-scenes preview before ascending the stairs to the Grand Hall for an elegant, four-course, gourmet dining experience. The long tables and family-style service are emblematic of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market community, encouraging guests to interact as they enjoy the unique menus created by six different chef teams. Each menu is paired with premier wines by a distinguished sommelier and features a whole beast carved tableside.

A live auction featuring one-of-a kind culinary-themed items will complete the evening’s festivities. Tickets are $225, $175 of which is a tax-deductible donation.

the lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)

First Look at et al. (the New Enoteca/Wine Salon from Ceri Smith of Biondivino)


The interior and seating. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©


Et Al interior. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©


The fab chandelier. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©


The interior, looking toward the street. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©

Fans of Ceri Smith and her popular Russian Hill wine shop, biondivino, have been anxiously awaiting the opening of her new enoteca/wine salon, ET AL.. As mentioned earlier this year on tablehopper, it’s just around the corner from Biondivino and is sooooo close to being finished—she’s just waiting on some shelving. Very important, that shelving. (It should be about two weeks.)

Today we are going to make you even more anxious for the opening, because we have the first look at the swell interior. The classically European space (with a cheeky twist) is decked out in navy blue and white, with white leather chairs and bench seats made from material from sailboats, a jaunty striped awning, and vintage Paul Iribe prints from the 1930s on the navy and white paneled walls. Smith also had a huge custom chandelier made of wineglasses that look like they are falling to the ground from the high ceiling that pick up the sparkle of the plastic Kartell stools, plus there are small industrial globe lights. The wide-plank wood floor was set in an eye-catching chevron pattern, and there’s a burl wood table in the front window niche with room for six to eight (the other tables are Carrara marble-topped). The grown-up space feels casual yet elegant, and the only flaw I can find is that it’s going to be so dang popular that it’ll always be full. It’s gawjus.

As for the offerings, since the space will be open all day (7am-midnight), you can start by ordering some espresso off the Faema E61 (the coffee is from the famed roaster Gianni Frasi of Giamaica Caffè) at the illuminated onyx bar. (Smith is also half-joking about not serving cappuccinos after 1pm—in Italy, they start shaking their head at you at 11am!) There will also be hot drinks, like the Torinese bicerin (a layered drink of espresso, chocolate, and whole milk), and some decadent canelé de Bordeaux! There are additionally wonderful teas from Bellocq in New York.

Smith is, of course, known for her extensive wine knowledge and excellent palate, and here she is going to be doing a list that extends far beyond Biondivino’s Italian focus (et al means “and others,” so now the name should make sense to you). The list (you can take a peek at the list-in-progress right here!) will include sherries (you can have an advance look at the sherry list here), Madeiras, rosés, a large selection of riesling, Champagne (take a sneak peek at the list here!), Georgian wine (served in the classic piala ceramic bowl), and Italian wines as well. There will be tasting-size glasses to go with particular dishes too.

You’ll be able to choose from a variety of hand-sliced meats (like prosciutto and pata negra) and cheeses both from and selected by Soyoung Scanlan of Andante Dairy. Amaryll Schwertner and Lori Regis of Boulette’s Larder will also be putting together some savory bites to complement the wines. Dishes being discussed include crespelle with wild mushrooms and burrata, a custard sformato with meats or vegetables, brandade with crostini, and you can order both frico and a chickpea socca (with herbs and sea salt) off the unconventional crêpe griddle. Also, of course, boulettes (meatballs) of lamb or pork in warm jus. As soon as it opens (it’s so close!), I’ll be announcing it on Twitter and in tablehopper, stand by! 2255 Polk St. at Green, 415-655-3155.

Special Bourbon Dinner at Dixie with Distiller Lincoln Henderson of Angel's Envy


The spacious bar area at Dixie; photo courtesy of Dixie.

This is something special and boozy, indeed. On Monday October 15th, master distiller Lincoln Henderson will be at DIXIE along with chef Joseph Humphrey for a bourbon-focused dinner celebrating Henderson’s port barrel-finished bourbon, Angels Envy. The evening will start with two cocktails and will be followed by three courses of Humphrey’s Southern-influenced, bourbon-flecked dinner. Each course will be served with cocktail pairings, so come prepared to do some serious eating and drinking. Each diner will take home a bottle of Angels Envy to savor later too. The event begins with cocktails at 6pm, and dinner at 7pm. Tickets are $120 per person, all inclusive. For tickets and more information, email.

Dixie            - 1 Letterman Dr. San Francisco

Upcoming Wine Dinners and Events


Central Kitchen courtyard photo by Christopher Michel (photo via Facebook).

Raise a glass to local winemakers at CENTRAL KITCHEN with a series of wine dinners featuring different local producers and experts. Each dinner is limited to 12 seats, so these should be intimate opportunities to chat with wine folks about their best stuff. Each evening will have two seatings, one at 6pm and the other at 9pm. Reservations are $200 per person, including gratuity but not tip, and can be purchased by calling 415-826-7005 or via email.

On Wednesday October 3rd, Kevin Wardell of Bergamot Alley wine shop in Healdsburg will be the guest, talking about various wines and how to select them.

Catch John Lancaster and Rob Perkins of Skylark Wine Company on Wednesday November 24th for a conversation about their wines and varietals.

Mick Unti of Unti Vineyards will be on hand Wednesday November 28th, talking about his small, family-run winery and their vineyard-driven wines.

Last but not least, Chrystal and Steve Clifton of Palmina will be the guests on Wednesday December 19th.

Then check out the obscure and way cool orange wines of Friuli, a part of Italy right next to Slovenia. PERBACCO and the North American Sommelier Association will be hosting a seminar and tasting on these orange, er, black sheep of the wine world on Saturday October 27th, taught by Mauro Cirilli. It begins at 10:45am, so be sure to get breakfast first. Tickets are $55 for the general public, and $45 for NASA members.

Lodi Wine Country Uncorked on Treasure Island October 6th


Some Lodi whites and rosés, on ice and ready to try. Photo from Facebook.

On Saturday October 6th, head out to the middle of the bay for some wines from Lodi’s wine country. LoCa Uncorked will feature more than 200 wines from 35 wineries in the Lodi wine-producing region. There will also be artisanal cheeses and wine-friendly snacks from Pasta Pomodoro, plus producers of other Lodi-area specialties like olives, nuts, and chocolate. This is Fleet Week weekend, so when the Blue Angels aren’t shaking you down to your boots, The John Brothers Piano Company will provide the jazzy ragtime soundtrack. The event will go from 1pm-5pm, and tickets are $55 in advance and $65 at the door. Since you’ll probably need a designated driver to get out to the island, they’re also offering tickets for designated drivers at $25. 291 Avenue of the Palms at 3rd St., Treasure Island.


the socialite

Shindigs, Feasts, & Festivals (let's party)

LitQuake Bringing Some Literary Food Action to the Table


 Event Info

Friday Oct 12, 2012 – Saturday Oct 13, 2012

San Francisco’s fab annual literary festival, LITQUAKE, is bringin’ it with some rocking food programming this year. The festival will take place from October 5th-13th, and you can check out full details, the schedule, and get tickets here. We’ve put together the food-focused events for you, too, so check it out. Oh, and who’s that hosting one of the Lit Crawl events? That’s right, yours truly. So come on down and get literary!

On Friday October 12th at 6pm, make your way to The Bold Italic for Novel Endings: Spicy Drinks and Artisanal Desserts. Dessert and wine experts Jake Godby and Sean Vahey, Lara Starr,  Alice Medrich, and Evan Goldstein will be leading pairings of ice cream with wine and spirits, including Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Port and Rosenblum Cellars late-harvest viognier. St. George Spirits has also crafted a special bourbon cocktail for the event, called the Spiced Apple Thief, to pair with the sweet treats. Tickets are $20, and you gotta be 21 (booze, duh). Bold Italic, 34 Page St. at Franklin.

Make your way to the Berkeley side of the bay on Saturday October 13th at 3pm for Chew on This: A Fresh Take on Our Obsession with Food. John Birdsall of will be moderating a panel of food thinkers and writers, including Julie Guthman, Dan Imhoff, Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic, and Barb Stuckey, in a discussion of the politics and ideas of food and taste in America. The event is free and will be held at the Marsh Arts Center at 2121 Allston Way at Fulton, Berkeley.

Also on Saturday October 13th, celebrate the closing night of the festival with the Lit Crawl in the Mission. There will be lots of literary events throughout the evening, but be sure to stop by Craftsman and Wolves for tablehopper Presents…Out of the Kitchen and on the Road: Local Chefs Share Their Travel Tales. Yours truly will be hosting four fantastic chefs and writers: Daniel Patterson (Coi), Richie Nakano (Hapa Ramen), Eddie Lau (Dux), and Samin Nosrat (formerly Eccolo, now independent) in a conversation about their international food adventures. The event will be from 6pm-7pm and is free. 746 Valencia St. at 18th St.

Everyone loves ice cream. And what could be cuter than kids writing about ice cream? Check out I Scream, You Scream, Kids Write for Ice Cream at 18 Reasons, where you can check out ice cream stories from students in the Peanut Butter & the Pen workshops. Kids are welcome, and Bi-Rite Creamery’s Anne Walker and Kris Hoogerhyde will be on hand to sign copies of Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones. The event is free and will be from 6pm-7pm at 18 Reasons, 3674 18th St. at Dolores.

Then, head to Mission Cheese at 7:15pm for The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage: True Tales of Food, Family, and How We Learn to Eat. Food writers Gregory Dicum, Caroline M. Grant, Phyllis Grant, Chris Malcomb, and K.G. Schneider will talk about how their families eat, and how much the food you grew up with really matters (or doesn’t). The event is free and goes from 7:15pm-8:15pm. 736 Valencia at 18th St.

the sugar mama

Giveaways (get some)

(Sponsored): Enter to Win Tickets to the Wine & Spirits Top 100 Event!


Wine & Spirits Magazine will host its ninth annual Top 100 Tasting Event on Wednesday October 17th, from 6:30pm-8:30pm, at City View at Metreon in San Francisco. The 100 wineries from around the world selected for the Top 100 event have delivered the best overall performances in the magazine’s tastings conducted during the past year.

Also featured at the event will be the magazine’s “New & Notable” restaurants and bars in the Bay Area, which include: Burritt Room & Tavern, Dixie, Local: Mission Eatery, Maven, Mosto, Namu Gaji, Redd Wood, and St. Vincent. Each restaurant will serve bites of a signature dish paired with wines featured at the tasting. Additionally, guests will enjoy specialties from local artisanal purveyors, including Hog Island Oysters, Boccalone, Sour Flour Bread, Point Reyes Cheese, TCHO chocolate, and Barefoot Coffee.

One lucky tablehopper reader will win a pair of tickets to the Top 100 Tasting Event. All you need to do is forward today’s tablehopper newsletter to one friend (but even more would be so very fabulous), and add a note to your friend(s) about the event. Be sure to Cc: or Bcc: me at so I know you sent it—I promise I won’t use anyone’s email address. The deadline to enter is Sunday September 30th at 11:59pm. We’ll notify the winner on Monday!

Event proceeds will benefit San Francisco Baykeeper. Tickets are $105 and can be purchased here.

the starlet

Star Sightings in Restaurants (no photos please)

Vince Vaughn on the Town

A couple sightings of Vince Vaughn around town: a tablehopper Twitter follower let me know he was “chowing @SuperDupersf downtown this afternoon. Wearing aviators, natch.” and on Friday night, he dined at Park Tavern with Google execs.

Wyclef Palate

Last night (Monday), Wyclef Jean, musician-producer, Haitian activist, founder of The Fugees, and former boyfriend of Lauryn Hill (read his new memoir, Purpose, for revelations about the steamy love triangle) enjoyed a late-night dinner at Wayfare Tavern. The large group had just come from Wyclef’s City Arts & Lectures appearance and were clearly having a good time passing around plates of mac and cheese and heirloom tomato salad. (Wyclef had the grilled calamari.)

Giant Steps

District San Francisco and District Oakland have both been busy hosting some special guests: the San Francisco location recently had the Giants’ Barry Zito in the house, and in Oakland, singer and musician Raphael Saadiq (known for being in the R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné!) came in.

Motivational Eating

Life coach and motivational speaker Tony Robbins (yes, he of the blazing white teeth) was spotted eating dinner at Bluestem Brasserie last Wednesday evening. He was with a group of 20, dining on a salad and the king salmon. He was in town to speak at Dreamforce.

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